Want to Help Save a Life? Bone Marrow Donor drive Sunday July 29.

My closest friend’s son, ten-year-old Kethan, was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2006.  He beat it twice but now it’s back for a third time.

His doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson say his best hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. The problem is finding a donor match. Kethan is of South Asian descent and Asian donors only make up seven percent of the bone marrow donor database.

Because the markers used in matching are inherited, patients are more likely to match someone from their own race or ethnicity. Adding more donors from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the database increases the likelihood that all patients will find the match they need.

Since no match has been found, Kethan’s doctors are having to move forward with an alternative treatment because of no match.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of stories similar to Kethan’s.

If you live in the Austin, Texas area, please come out to the bone marrow drive and help us improve the statistics for finding a bone marrow match.

Bone Marrow Donor Drive
Sunday, July 29th, 2012
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Ronald McDonald House
1315 Barbara Jordan Blvd (map)
(next to the Dell Children’s Medical Center-free parking)
Austin, TX 78723
GetSwabbed.org (now deletecancer.org)

So, what happens if you are a match?  Once you are registered, you are in the database until your 61st birthday and could be matched at any time.  Please go to getswabbed.org  (now deletecancer.org) to understand more about this process and what it entails.

Check out the video clip below about Kethan and Sunday’s bone marrow drive, from the local Fox News station.

My “Deportation”

Good news!  My mom and I both had our check-ups last week at MD Anderson and both check-ups turned out well again. Whew.  For those keeping track, my mom went with the mocha-flavored barium smoothie and I stuck to my favorite. Berry.

Mom:  Even though she has quite a few involved lymph nodes, her low-grade B-cell follicular lymphoma does not appear to be progressing. Stable is good.

Me:  No tumors were found on CT scans of my chest, abdomen and pelvis and my tumor markers are in normal range. NED is still my friend. My Bard Power Port was removed.  Some friends are jokingly calling this my “deportation,” NOT to be confused with the currently highly-charged, politicized type.

I have mixed feelings about my port removal.  On one hand, the port was a not-so-pleasant reminder of my cancer and the chemicals injected into my body. On the other hand, it represented part of the very effective treatment plan used to kick my cancer.  I feel a little vulnerable now without it but I will adjust.

My mom and I have our next check-ups at MDA in October.

I am blessed once again to have one less thing to worry about.  At least that’s the idea.